Unassuming, unpretentious, vulnerable. You were there from my very first day in hospital.
I'm glad I stopped by that first time, and I'm glad I continued to stop by every day from then on.
You brought humanity into the everyday bustle around me, emotions into the sometimes mechanical task of taking care of the sick. You made me remember pain, fear, courage -- even in the face of that lurking enemy called death.
You and your wife -- you both taught me so much, just by being yourselves, and by allowing me into your lives.
You warmed my heart by your tangible love for each other. How she would stroke your head and kiss you before she left for home every day; how your eyes would brim over with tears whenever she arrived late. You were so worried about her taking the bus alone every day. She's your angel.
You showed me that the most precious of things -- love, faith, peace, hope, courage -- transcend barriers of language and culture. I never learnt very much more than Chao and manejar, but many times we didn't really need the words.
In bits and pieces, you told me things. Stories of the tango you loved, and how she would always step on your feet. Stories of your children. You never failed to ask where I went during the weekends. You even told me once, upon coming in one Monday morning, that I should take time to party, and siesta too.
I'm glad I was with you throughout your surgery. And though I've eventually come to know that it wasn't a final cure, and that you may never be fully cured, I'm still thankful. Thankful that you're so much better now. Thankful that you've been given a little more time; thankful that you're well enough to spend that precious time with the ones you love the most.
And I'm so thankful that today, you packed up and left Bed Three. You said thank you and farewell to the kind nurses, and with a twinkle in your eye, you told me not to cry as you kissed my forehead. I laughed and said I shouldn't! You've been away from family for so long, and your grandsons can't wait for their Abuelo to finally come home.
It's where you've always wanted to be.
Thank you, and goodbye, Mr Q. Although there's no other place I'd rather have you be, I will miss you dearly.